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DISD Education Foundation awards $34,920 in grants!

Christmas came early for nine DISD teachers who were awarded a whopping $34,920 in Denison Education Foundation grants for innovative learning programs that will enrich the educational lives of thousands of students across the district.

DEF Board members began last Thursday’s Grant Patrol at Hyde Park Elementary where teacher Pam Bellerman received $5,402 for “Calming the Chaos,” a Reading Intervention program targeting K-4 learners. Katie Miller, also at Hyde Park, was awarded $6,463 for a program entitled “Don’t Keep Kids Confined to 4 Walls,” benefiting 3rd grade English Language Arts and Social Studies learners.

Next stop was Denison High School where teacher Trisa Dyer was awarded $1,941.80 for “Studio Ready,” a creative arts program targeting students in grades 9-12 in the fields of Commercial Photography and Yearbook Graphics.

After DHS, the grant presenters moved to Scott Middle School where they awarded Librarian Kari Uber with $5,596.10 to purchase “Reading with Their Ears,” a program that provides audiobooks that are pre-loaded with no need for downloads or internet access. “With Playaways, students will have all they need to cozy up and read with their ears…which is especially beneficial for those who struggle with reading,” said Uber.

Mayes teacher Kelly Pyle was next on the awards list, receiving $5,595 for “Tools for Dyslexia” for 3rd grade ELAR/Social Studies students with reading disabilities. “The Reader Pens included in this program are tech devices used to help students read materials independently. They roll the device over words and actually hear the words being read to them through headphones that attach to the Reader Pen,” said Pyle.

Also at Mayes, a teacher group comprised of Andrea James, Jana Wood, Lacie Lowing, Brittany Gaston and Angie Garner received $7,254 for a program entitled “Transforming the Vision of Education,” benefiting 3rd grade ELAR/Social Studies learners.

At Terrell Elementary, teacher Kristy Weda expressed her surprise and heartfelt thanks for a $2,769 grant to purchase and implement “Empowering Students with Dyslexia” to help first through fourth graders struggling with reading and spelling difficulties.

“It is always so inspirational to see and feel the excitement of not just the teachers who receive the grants, but also the students who will reap the benefits,” said DEF Executive Director Melanie Truxal. “This is why DEF exists…to enrich and enhance the educational lives of each and every Denison child.”

DEF Board members and Hyde Park students gathered around Pam Bellerman to celebrate her $5,402 grant award from the Denison Education Foundation for “Calming the Chaos.”

Six Mayes Elementary teachers (from left: Kelly Pyle, Andrea James, Lacie Lowing, Jana Wood, Angie Garner and Brittany Gaston) received two grants from the Denison Education Foundation: Pyle for $5,595 for “Tools for Dyslexia to help third graders with reading disabilities; and James, Lowing, Wood, Garner and Gaston for $7,254 for “Transforming the Vision of Education” to help all 3rd graders improve core skills and become successful learners.

Hyde Park teacher Katie Miller (center top in her favorite Faith, Family, Jackets shirt) and her third graders celebrated Miller’s $6,463 grand award for “Don’t Keep Kids Confined to 4 Walls” with Denison Education Foundation board members.

SMS Librarian Kari Uber, DEF Board members and SMS students were all smiles when Uber was recently awarded a $5,596.10 grant from the Denison Education Foundation to purchase “Reading with Their Ears,” a program that will provide pre-loaded audiobooks for struggling student readers.

DEF Board members presented Terrell teacher Kristy Weda with a $2,769 check to purchase an enrichment education program entitled “Empowering Students with Dyslexia.”

Denison High School’s Trisa Dyer was all smiles after receiving a $1,941.80 grant from the Denison Education Foundation to purchase “Studio Ready,” a Commercial Photography and Yearbook Graphics program designed to help students produce professional quality publications.


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